© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Fake Plastic Trees

Fake Plastic Trees

by Radiohead

Influences

Influences on Radiohead

Influenced by Radiohead

Thom Yorke has cited Elvis Costello, The Beatles, Talking Heads, and Tom Waits as influences, but it seems to us that his inspiration mainly comes from his own head: his paranoia, anxiety, guilt, fascination, and passion all mix together to form his own unique brand of musical genius.

In an interview with Rolling Stone in 1995 (the year "Fake Plastic Trees" and The Bends were released), Yorke said, "I'm obsessed with the idea that I'm completely losing touch with who I am, and I've come to the conclusion that there isn't anything to Thom Yorke other than the guy that makes those painful songs."

Rock journalist Alex Ross wrote that "Radiohead songs, it appears, are inspired by constant chaos and change: Yorke seems to thrive on tension and instability, cherishing the role of the suffering artist he has created for himself. 'He doesn't like to feel satisfied,' says [drummer Phil] Selway. 'When things are going well, he will throw things off balance so that he'll be in a state of flux. That's the way he works best'…Radiohead's songs are the narratives of a cynical misfit who longs to be loved. 'There's a pervading sense of loneliness I've had since the day I was born,' Yorke says. 'Maybe a lot of other people feel the same way, but I'm not about to run up and down the street asking everybody if they're as lonely as I am. I'd probably get locked up.'"
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement